Having recently read Eclipse Bay, the first book in the trilogy by Jayne Ann Krentz, I was excited to get my hands on the second book in the trilogy, Dawn in Eclipse Bay. I couldn't wait to read about the Hartes and the Madisons again. The story starts out good. There is some interesting chemistry happening between the two main characters in the beginning. Plus, this book features a different kind of Madison, responsible and respectable. And in turn a different kind of Harte, flakey and artistic. The thought of these two opposites getting together was amusing and exciting. But, after a third of the way through the story gets dull. It loses its spark. I blame this on the scenes between Gabe Madison and Lillian Harte. As soon as they start to get close, wa la , it is the next day! The scenes were not HOT enough, because basically after the first two love scenes... there were none. They would kiss, and that would be it. The readers are left to make their own conclusions. If I wanted to do that, I wouldn't bother reading a book. To be quite frank, I enjoy a little more detail.
The story line was good, but not as intriguing as Eclipse Bay, the original book. There honestly didn't seem to be much of a feud left between the Hartes and the Madisons after Rafe and Hannah's story. In fact, it seemed that Gabe's grandfather Mitchelle was more excited than angered over Lillian dating Gabe. His first reactions of suspicion seemed forced. Like he was giving Lillian a hard time just to drive Gabe and Lillian closer together.
It is hard to read books in a trilogy because you expect them all to be as good as the first book. You make allowances if the second or third book doesn't hold up to your expectations. You know each book tells it's own unique story with a different plot and maybe even different characters, but you still can't help yourself and compare the books anyhow. I found Ms. Krentz's hero, Gabe, to be a very sexy, brooding, goal-oriented male. I really wanted to see more developement of Gabe's side of the story. I wanted to see more of his thoughts and motivations. He wasn't as stuck on the 'I'm a Harte and you're a Madison' issue as much as Lilian seemed to be. Lilian's refusal to move beyond the family feud kind of irritated me after a while. I also would have enjoyed the story more if Ms. Krentz had added some more love scenes between Gabe and Lillian. But as I said before as soon as the passion started, you didn't get any more info. I did enjoy the mystery involved and the 'who done it?' type storyline. Arizona, the town conspiracy theorist, was more outrageous then ever in this sequel. Of course, Gabe's attempts to protect Lilian were also very endearing as well.
Overall, I did enjoy the characters and the setting which the story took place in and I found the story's likeability to be of no great surprise to me since I also enjoyed the setting and characters in Eclipse Bay. The two Grandfathers turned out to be the most entertaining characters in the book. Their interference provided some truly great comical moments. They probably saved the book. It was nice to see them end up getting along, which was what I wanted to see at the end of the first book, Eclipse Bay. Due to the grandfathers amusing discussion at the end of this book you get a hint about what the third book in this trilogy will contain and I, of course, will read it.
Jayne Ann Krentz is a great writer, and I have to read all the books in any trilogy because that is how I am by nature. Don't let this book discourage you from Krentz's writing, because she is usually a great writer.